n mid-2020 together with a number of supporting partners including Microsoft, The Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Grant Thornton, Macpherson Kelly and a number of other organisations, we decided torun an online hackathon aimed at crowdsourcing innovative, quick to market, and pandemic-resilient business ideas to solve problems and stimulate economic growth.
Rather than targeting the usual suspects typically seen at these types of events, we decided to take a risk and try to get traction within the mainstream. Since hackathon-style events aren’t commonplace in the mainstream, we decided to host a series of workshops designed to prepare participants for success – from what to expect from a hackathon to how to build a no-code app in a day.
What this meant was that we had quite a few events over a short period of time to promote and manage. We decided that the best thing to do would be to develop a website that we could host all of the events on which attendees could find and register for in one place. The problem however was that the site itself, once the events were over, was wasted and if we wanted to do it all again, we’d need to redevelop the site or start over.
This got us thinking about the pros and cons of event hosting websites like Eventbrite, Humanitix, Meetup, and even social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook events pages. Eventbrite, Humanitix and Meetup are great tools, but they are generalist – for every topic and type of event - so they’re not really a place that people would go to find events but rather they typically click-through from a social media post or email invitation. They also don’t offer the ability for attendees to connect, chat and network (well some do but it’s limited and not used as much as on social channels). This might suggest that perhaps using LinkedIn or Facebook events might be a better option, but they typically don’t get a whole lot of eyes on them and don’t offer the same benefits of the aforementioned platforms. LinkedIn for example limits the ability to send announcements to two within every seven day periods and the notifications are drowned out by an exhaustive number of notifications – often random like wishing a stranger happy birthday.
Based on our frustrations and musings, we decided to create an app (well, perhaps it’s more of an MVP at the moment). We wanted something that was a one-stop-shop for a specific target audience – in our case those interested in innovative events – and which we could easily add events to which automatically posted to social media. We also wanted to be able to offer the audience a social platform to connect and network directly in the application and that we could incorporate both email and push notifications.
Rather than spending a fortune on developing a custom-coded app, we decided to challenge ourselves to building it using no-code platforms and middleware.
After comprehensive research we landed on Adalo as the platform of choice for our app. We were faced with the decision of using Webflow for the web app and Adalo for the mobile app but we wanted to keep it simple and have just one shared database, so we decided to use Adalo for both. In retrospect that wasn’t the best choice, but it did give us the opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons of the platform in different situations. Adalo has rightfully focussed on their core offering – mobile apps – which means that they are much less competitive at web applications (for now anyway). In the next iteration of the tool, we will redevelop the web app in Webflow and connect the platforms using Airtable and Zapier (or similar alternatives).
While Adalo does have limitations, it’s a fantastic tool for rapidly developing mobile applications or minimum viable products (MVP).
We will be trailing our event hosting platform for innovators - Innevent – in 2021 once we’ve ironed out a few kinks.
If you’re curious you can check them out below or alternatively if you’re looking to develop a mobile app or MVP of your own and aren’t sure where to start (or need a helping hand) then get in touch with us. We have an incredible team of graphic and visual designers and developers (fluent in custom code and no-code).
Innevent Web: www.innevent.co
Innevent Mobile Preview (you can test it directly in thepage – just input dummy data into the little phone mockup): https://previewer.adalo.com/f86094d8-af8a-4e8e-9cf8-c8eaefe63b82